Weekend storm could dump 6-12 inches
VAIL – A large storm moving into Colorado is projected to bring 5-9 inches of snow to Vail today through Sunday. By the time the storm moves out on Monday, there could be 6-12 inches on the ground in Vail, forecasters say.”It’s going to barrel right into us,” said Dan Zumpfe, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “It should be a really potent storm.”It could be the biggest storm Colorado has seen so far this ski season, Zumpfe said.”They’re getting pretty good snow right up in the Cascades of Washington and Sierra Nevadas,” he said Friday afternoon.
The snow should taper off Sunday and linger into Monday, Zumpfe said. Snow accumulation in Eagle will be about half or one-third of what it is in Vail, Zumpfe said.Vail Mountain opened more than 1,000 acres of terrain Nov. 18, one of its widest openings in a decade, after getting 42 inches of snow over the previous week. The mountain has gotten only 3 inches over the last week.Vail now has 18 lifts running with a 19-inch mid-mountain base.Vail spokeswoman Jen Brown said the mountain will try to open Chair 5 and the terrain that it serves, Sun Up and Sun Down bowls, as soon as possible – next week if Vail gets good snow this weekend and into next week.”As long as we get the snow, crews move as fast as they can to prep areas,” she said.Brown said the recent clear skies have been good for Vail’s holiday time.
“We’ve had great snow for the holiday weekend,” she said. “Skiers who are here love the blue skies. If it’s snowing when they leave, it’s exceptional word of mouth for the community.”The mountain is aiming to open the other Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin in mid-December, Brown said.Beaver Creek opened a quarter of its terrain Wednesday. It’s gotten an inch of snow over the last week, and now has four lifts running with an 18-inch base at mid-mountain.Winds will be strong as the storm moves in, gusting up to 40 miles per hour, Zumpfe said. Temperatures will cool off considerably and reach single digits at night for the next week, Zumpfe said, with daytime highs in the 20s or 30s.There’s another low pressure system that’s headed more toward the Northern Rockies that could affect Colorado around mid-week, Zumpfe said.Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nancy Shanks said winter weather crews are already in place.
Snowplow drivers are already working 12-hour shifts for the winter season, Shanks said. There are a maximum of seven trucks that can work in a storm from Dotsero to Vail, and more that cover Vail Pass. Plow drivers were making sure they are filled up with sand and liquid deicer to handle the oncoming storm, she said.Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, ColoradoA snowstorm is expected to move into the Vail Valley on Saturday, bringing as much as a foot of snow to Vail by Monday.